Cometh the hour, cometh the man and all that.
When Barcelona needed Antoine Griezmann to deliver, he didn’t disappoint. It’s what Cules have wanted to see ever since he traded the Rojiblanco for the Blaugrana.
Even before the Frenchman had opened the scoring with his first official goal for the club, he was covering every blade of grass.
Dropping deep to recover balls when in reality he should’ve only been concentrating on getting on the end of them.
Antoine Griezmann is the first player to score twice on his Camp Nou debut for Barcelona in the 21st century ⚽⚽ pic.twitter.com/wijwLhNGpM— Goal (@goal) August 25, 2019
His work rate appeared to rub off on his team-mates, and the crowd were, evidently, enjoying the contribution of a player who still has a lot to prove.
And yet, after a performance such as the one he provided against Betis, it won’t be too long before he’s won over a demanding home crowd.
Even Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, watching on from the stands, clearly approved. And well they might.
Griezmann’s nous and scoring ability could be just what’s needed to push the Catalans that little bit further this season.
It’s been a while since Barca have had a genuinely world class talent that can take some of the creative as well as the scoring load from Messi, but the World Cup winner showed that with the right service - something he was starved of against Athletic Club - that he can be the man.
With Neymar still a hot potato topic amongst all of the media outlets and Cules themselves, one has to truly wonder if the Brazilian is required once everyone is fit and firing again.
Not to mention that Ansu Fati slotted straight into the XI with no fear whatsoever when coming on as a late sub, and thereby becoming the second youngest league debutant in Barca history.
Griezmann’s brace will have done his confidence the power of good, as will endearing him to the home faithful.
With Messi hopefully fit for the next league game, it should give the Frenchman the opportunity to play a more natural role, and that can only spell danger for the opposition.
Although there’s still a way to go before the bridges that Griezmann burned with the Blaugrana fan base are repaired, he can do no more than give of his best.
A confetti goal celebration was, perhaps, to be expected and whilst that won’t sit well with many, if it means more of the same on the pitch, then I’m willing to accept the whole package.
Let’s face it, in the space of 90 minutes, Antoine Griezmann has got everyone excited again, and that’s no bad thing...